Guide to Kona Area National and State Parks
Kona Area National and State Parks Overview
If you’re visiting Kona Hawaii, here are the Kona Area National and State Parks you should see to gain a taste of Hawaii’s culture and unique natural wonders.
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
An educational and culturally-relevant site, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park offers guests a glimpse of ancient Hawaiian life. Several man made fishing ponds are visible from the shoreline and by following the footpath through the park, visitors can see fishing huts, canoe houses, kahuas (platforms for houses), stone slides, and heiau, or religious sites. The park is a popular destination for picnics, wedding ceremonies, and educational events by a variety of local and state groups.
Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park
82-6099 Puuhonua Beach Rd
Kealakekua, HI 96750
Home to the first meeting of Hawaiians and European explorers in 1779, history buffs will recognize Kealakekua Bay as the site where Captain James Cook was killed, but the importance to the site extends long before his arrival. In ancient times, the nearby cliff face, Pali Kapu O Keoua, served as a burial site for high-ranking chiefs. Today, the bay is a popular site for kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Kekaha Kai Beach Park
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Formerly known as Kona Coast State Park, this beautiful beach park mixes shady lava rocks with warm white sands that are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. With three different beach areas across a 4.5-mile long trail that includes a large cinder cone and amazing views of the coastline, a day spent at Kekaha Kai is well worth the preparation required beforehand – there’s no water or services there, so bring your sunscreen, food, and water.
Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park
State Hwy 160
Hōnaunau, HI 96726
An important cultural site surrounded by a massive ancient stone wall, Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau served as a place of refuge and forgiveness for lawbreakers, warriors, and non-combatants during times of war. Outside the wall, several generations of powerful chiefs lived on the grounds outside the pu’uhonua. Visitors to the site can see temple platforms, fishing areas, a massive stone sledding track, and some coastal village areas complete with replica temples and thatched structures.